Chuck, that is an interesting development. Lower clock speeds mean less power drawn, that is true. Automotive applications (especoally engine control) consist of a large number of calculations done repetitively in a short time. Couple the extra cores with virtualization software and you can get great performance with lots less power.
I would think that multicore might also help automakers do what they've been trying to do for years -- that is, cut the number of microcontrollers in vehicles. Some of the more complex high-end vehicles are now using 80 or 90 MCUs each.
Two of the cores serve as basic microprocessors and one handles all of the I/O controls, which makes a lot of sense because I/O operations and handling various streams of serial data from sensors, microcontrollers, and wireless links could weigh heavily on the dual core portion of the chip. The 3-processor chip offers some redundancy as well as error-detection and error-correction technologies, mandatory for safety-critical equipment.
I've seen two performance advantages from a multicore design. Since many high-end designs use an OS that time slices the various tasks performed by the application, a multicore can now devote an entire core to a specific task. The next boost is from designs that had multiple processors. Rather than having a communication link between the various processors, the processors now share the same resources and cohabitate together without having to communicate.
Hi Charles, I work on the Ignition powertrain, and some of the applications uses a mC in each ignition coil, so it could help a lot on this area, but some Customers want to have a dedicated uC to each component so, it is a high management agrement what drives any change.
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